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The good life

The good life
January 03, 2012, 05:02:39 AM
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"Eudaimonia" is a central concept in Aristotelian ethics and political philosophy, along with the terms "aretē", most often translated as "virtue" or "excellence", and "phronesis", often translated as "practical or moral wisdom."[2] In Aristotle's works, eudaimonia was used as a term for the highest human good, and so it is the aim of practical philosophy, including ethics and political philosophy, to consider (and also experience) what it really is, and how it can be achieved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eudaimonia

This was also a topic in The Republic although it was not made as explicit. Socrates asks what is the highest good in life, and receives varying answers.

The overall point seemed to be this: the best life is one that combines personal interest with the natural requirements of life itself, including civilization, to form a harmony.

Of note for cunning linguists:

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Etymologically, it consists of the words "eu" ("good") and "daimōn" (a type of supernatural being).

Daemon seems to correspond with a sense of animistic spirit much as many here (myself included) read into heavy metal/metal.

Re: The good life
January 05, 2012, 03:06:03 PM
Of note for cunning linguists:

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Etymologically, it consists of the words "eu" ("good") and "daimōn" (a type of supernatural being).

Daemon seems to correspond with a sense of animistic spirit much as many here (myself included) read into heavy metal/metal.

I get a real kick out etymology.  Another word that's interesting to look back to see what it originally meant is "genius."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genius_%28mythology%29

Re: The good life
January 05, 2012, 09:43:34 PM
Of note for cunning linguists:

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Etymologically, it consists of the words "eu" ("good") and "daimōn" (a type of supernatural being).

The highest goal in life is unification with the confluence of all perfection, which is all actuality, i.e. theosis

Re: The good life
January 07, 2012, 12:56:15 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_psychology#Theory

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   Research into the Pleasant Life, or the "life of enjoyment", examines how people optimally experience, forecast, and savor the positive feelings and emotions that are part of normal and healthy living (e.g. relationships, hobbies, interests, entertainment, etc.). Martin Seligman says that this most transient element of happiness may be the least important, despite the attention it is given.[14]
    The study of the Good Life, or the "life of engagement", investigates the beneficial effects of immersion, absorption, and flow that individuals feel when optimally engaged with their primary activities. These states are experienced when there is a positive match between a person's strength and the task they are doing, i.e. when they feel confident that they can accomplish the tasks they face. (See related concepts, Self-efficacy and play)
    Inquiry into the Meaningful Life, or "life of affiliation", questions how individuals derive a positive sense of well-being, belonging, meaning, and purpose from being part of and contributing back to something larger and more permanent than themselves (e.g. nature, social groups, organizations, movements, traditions, belief systems).

We have the "pleasant life" - fleeting happiness and contentment, then the good life - legitimate, ongoing personal happiness, and the meaningful life - living in harmony with the reality within which one is embedded.

Re: The good life
January 07, 2012, 02:06:22 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_psychology#Theory

Quote
   Research into the Pleasant Life, or the "life of enjoyment", examines how people optimally experience, forecast, and savor the positive feelings and emotions that are part of normal and healthy living (e.g. relationships, hobbies, interests, entertainment, etc.). Martin Seligman says that this most transient element of happiness may be the least important, despite the attention it is given.[14]
    The study of the Good Life, or the "life of engagement", investigates the beneficial effects of immersion, absorption, and flow that individuals feel when optimally engaged with their primary activities. These states are experienced when there is a positive match between a person's strength and the task they are doing, i.e. when they feel confident that they can accomplish the tasks they face. (See related concepts, Self-efficacy and play)
    Inquiry into the Meaningful Life, or "life of affiliation", questions how individuals derive a positive sense of well-being, belonging, meaning, and purpose from being part of and contributing back to something larger and more permanent than themselves (e.g. nature, social groups, organizations, movements, traditions, belief systems).

We have the "pleasant life" - fleeting happiness and contentment, then the good life - legitimate, ongoing personal happiness, and the meaningful life - living in harmony with the reality within which one is embedded.

Interestingly, the "pleasant life" turns out to be extremely unpleasant, taken on its own. At least, for a certain kind of individual. Endless consumption of "pleasant" experiences gradually deadens the consumer's ability to derive pleasure from them. Eventually, the things that initially brought pleasure and distraction become a source of torment. Sweetness turns to ash in one's mouth. The pleasant life is a desert in disguise. Imagine subsisting off of nothing but Donuts and Coca-Cola for a month.

I think that's one of the reasons why everyone is such a neurotic mess in this culture. They're given toys and junk-food and told that these things will make them happy. So they grow up in a kind of play-pen, but the adult part of their being goes without nourishment. Something is wrong but they have no idea what it is.